Managing fatigue using a fatigue risk management plan (FRMP)
Fatigue, we’ve all felt it; it’s the feeling of weariness caused by prolonged or excessive mental exertion. Employee fatigue presents risks to health, safety and productivity. In organisations working with major accident hazards (MAHs), the risk that fatigue poses can be particularly severe, as was shown by the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion and the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), fatigue from shiftwork and overtime is one of the key human factors topics to be addressed by onshore major hazards industries. Recognising the importance of this issue, HSE has published Managing shiftwork: Health and safety guidance (HSG 256 ISBN 0717661970) as an aid to all industry. The EI Human and Organisational Factors Committee (HOFCOM) has also identified fatigue as one of its priority issues for attention and has already developed some resources to help the industry understand and deal with fatigue.
In 2006, EI published Improving alertness through effective fatigue management, a well received and used document describing fatigue management strategies. However, since then industry good practice has moved away from fatigue management strategies to fatigue risk management plans (FRMPs), whereby fatigue should be managed as part of the safety management system (SMS), in the same way other aspects of health, safety, environment and productivity are managed.
Newly published EI Managing fatigue using a fatigue risk management plan (FRMP) supersedes and is the spiritual successor to the 2006 publication. It recommends a more comprehensive approach to managing fatigue in a risk-based and systematic manner, and for fostering shared responsibility between an organisation and its employees.
The publication is divided into two parts. Part 1 introduces the causes of fatigue and the FRMP concept. Part 2 provides guidance on the design and implementation of the FRMP. In whole, this publication:
- Provides a source of reference for site-level managers directly responsible for managing fatigue.
- Defines and describes the elements of an FRMP that complies with industry good practice.
- Provides managers with practical step-by-step guidance on how to build, implement and maintain an FRMP.
This publication is relevant for all major hazard industries, including onshore and offshore operations. Organisations in the early stages of implementing an FRMP will find this publication particularly useful, whilst those with an FRMP in place should also benefit as a means to compare their existing FRMP against good practice.
How to access this publication
Managing fatigue using a fatigue risk management plan (FRMP) (1st edition, 2014, available as a free download, or priced hard-copy publication. Supersedes 2006 Improving alertness through effective fatigue management)
Other fatigue resources
Sleep contracts research - EI Research Report: Viability of using sleep contracts as a control measure in fatigue management
Recommended Practice 755 Fatigue Risk Management Systems for Personnel in the Refining and Petrochemical Industries
RR446 - The development of a fatigue / risk index for shiftworkers
EI Human factors briefing notes resource pack: No. 5: Fatigue
EI Workshop on fatigue
Additional references on fatigue are provided in the Top ten human factors issues listing.